There are very few today who would deny that the quality of our food has dropped, partly as a result of the change embodied by the death of the local shop and the rise of the supermarket. Where once the only change was that our food was pre-grown, now we find it has been pre-grown, pre-made, pre-cooked, pre-packaged, pre-distributed, and often find our purchases are precluded by lack of choice for good measure. Of course, supermarkets are the just one example of today’s monopolies, that much should be clear. Enter the store at one end, and you can start your purchases with your baby food at one end, and walk all the way through life till you need find a buy-one-get-one-free headstone and a “Value” lawyer to deal with your wills and probate. Plus the stores are so big these days that you might in fact need the coffin by the time you finally leave.
This idea is one which keeps popping up from time to time, normally on those occasions when it would actually come in useful, only to be thrown on the backburner for another time or a more talented author. Well this time I’ve decided just to throw the idea down on electronic paper for anyone with the skills and the time to make it work have a go. Of course, it’s quite likely that such a website already exists and that I just haven’t yet been able to find it, but if anyone knows of such a place, let me know!
Ostensibly the website is aimed at those allegedly few remaining people who cook, though it would appear equally useful to people planning dinner parties, students looking for something to go with their pasta, or just about anyone curious enough to experiment with a few different ingredients. In its essence, the website would be nothing more than a large recipe repository, with everything from snacks and sandwiches to stews and casseroles, with anything in between. Recipes would be submitted by users, moderated and standardised, but the slightly clever part is that these recipes would not be displayed as flat text files—it’s 2007 after all—but would be cross-referenced in such a way as to make the whole collection completely accessible.